How to Get Rid of Dry Skin
Dry skin is annoying, and it’s a problem nearly everyone will experience at some point in their lives. If you have dry skin, you’ll know it—the obvious signs include flaking, scaling, and peeling of the skin; a sensation of tightness and itchiness, especially after a hot shower or bath; and skin that looks and feels rough rather than smooth. Fortunately, it’s an issue that can usually be solved with a few simple changes in your routine. Read on to learn more.Shop Clean, Cruelty-free Skincare Products
What causes dry skin?
The outer layer of your skin is designed to protect you from the environment and to maintain hydration. When it becomes damaged, it develops microscopic cracks, leading to loss of hydration and dry, flaky skin.
Although dry skin could be a sign of a more serious medical problem, in most cases it is caused by environmental factors that remove moisture from the skin. These factors include being exposed to cold, dry weather; too many hot showers or baths; using harsh soaps; and sun damage. Aging and being prone to genetic weaknesses in the skin barrier can also affect your skin’s moisture levels.
How to treat and prevent dry skin
While there is no simple cure for dry skin, there are a few things you can do as part of your daily skin and body care routine to help restore moisture and keep your skin as smooth and hydrated as possible, especially during the winter months when dry skin tends to be worse.
1. Make moisturizer your best friend
We’re always told that moisturizing our face is one of the most important parts of our skincare routine, but then we tend to forget the rest of our body. Yet maintaining a healthy skin barrier all over is one of the best ways to prevent outbreaks of dry skin. Regularly applying skin moisturizers (ointments, lotions, and creams), which rehydrate the top layer of skin cells and seal in moisture, are the first step to combating dry skin.
Slather on a vegan and cruelty-free moisturizer from head to toe at least once a day. Ideally, it’s best to apply moisturizer within a few minutes of bathing and washing your face or hands—this helps seal in moisture while your skin is still damp.
Generally, the thicker and greasier a moisturizer is, the more effective it will be. One of the most effective and gentle moisturizers is coconut oil. The saturated fatty acids that occur naturally in coconut oil act as an emollient, which fills in the space between skin cells to hydrate and smooth skin.
2. Use the right skincare products
If you find your skin especially tight and itchy after using skincare products, that’s a sign you need to consider switching out your go-to products for something more effective in hydrating your skin. If you’re experiencing dry skin, stop using products that contain harsh chemicals such as alcohol (unless it’s hand sanitizer), alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), fragrance, and retinoids. Instead, opt for body and skin care products that are vegan, cruelty-free, and non-toxic, in addition to being gentle on your skin.
If you think you need to try something new but you’re not sure where to start, consider the curated body care options available through Kinder Beauty’s online marketplace—or better yet, sign up for the monthly subscription box so you can try products from multiple brands to get a better sense of what works for you.
3. Add moisture to the air
It’s possible your dry skin is being caused by the dry air around you, so adding more moisture to your home with a cool-mist humidifier could help. Plug one in in your bedroom while you sleep and in the main area of your home to combat the dryness coming from your home heating and cooling system.
4. Wear gloves and gentle fabrics
Because hands tend to experience the most direct contact with environmental irritants, wearing insulated gloves outside when it’s cold and when doing certain activities can reduce the risk of developing dry skin. Get into the habit of wearing rubber gloves when doing household chores like washing dishes and cleaning to avoid exposure to hot water and irritating cleaning products.
Also try to avoid fabrics that irritate your skin, such as wool (which we don’t want to wear anyway because it comes from animals), and instead opt for breathable materials such as cotton.
5. Adjust the temperature of your showers
A simple adjustment in your routine that can make a world of difference to your skin is the temperature of your shower water. While long, hot showers and baths are soothing and relaxing (and we’d argue is one of the best things ever), they will only make your dry skin worse by stripping the skin’s outer layer and washing away natural oils. Keep your shower water to a comfortable warm (not scalding) temperature and keep your shower time to 10 minutes or less.Shop Clean, Vegan Beauty Products
The soap you use in the shower also makes a difference. Look for soaps that are fragrance-free and gentle on skin instead of traditional soaps that contain harsh chemicals, and use just enough to get you clean without overdoing it. When you’re done, gently pat yourself dry (don’t rub) with a towel and immediately slather your whole body with moisturizer.
Most of the time, symptoms of dry skin are caused by environmental triggers, so incorporating these simple changes in your skincare routine could help prevent dry skin and maintain a smooth, healthy skin barrier. If none of these steps provide relief, consider visiting a dermatologist to help better understand the problem and get treatment options.
- Dermatologists’ top tips for relieving dry skin | American Academy of Dermatology
- 9 ways to banish dry skin | Harvard Medical School
- Moisturizers: The slippery road | National Library of Medicine
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